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Volleyball coaches serve a purpose

Oct 06, 2017 10:38AM ● Published by Greg James

Taylorsville volleyball hopes to return to the state tournament. Its last appearance was 2014. (Taylorsville volleyball)

High school volleyball coaches across the state of Utah joined together for a training opportunity. 

“As coaches, we are helping our athletes get ready for the real world,” Taylorsville head volleyball coach Clint Barnes said in a press release. “They all do not come from perfect homes, some are and will experience trials and challenges in their lives. Coaches have an impact on them and it is important to keep learning,” 

John Kessel, from USA Volleyball, joined several local coaches Aug. 12 for a one-day clinic. He discussed new trends and techniques to help coaches train and maintain the highest level of the game.

Kessel is a member of the National Governing Body of the sport of volleyball. His current position is director of sport development. In 1995, Volleyball Magazine named him as one of the 50 most influential people in the sport the last 50 years. As a player, he competed in 16 U.S. Championships.

Taylorsville High School head coach Clint Barnes has helped lead the initiative to have better trained coaches in the state. He is president of the Utah Volleyball Coaches Association. The associations dues help promote high school volleyball in Utah and develop coaching education seminars. 

Education is a key point of emphasis to the UVCA. Better coaches help young men and young women become better athletes but also helps them become better leaders and citizens. Barnes encourages other coaches to have a positive impact on the youth they coach.

The UVCA has also gathered donations to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At press time, Barnes and his Taylorsville players had gathered more than $500 to send in relief. West High School’s volleyball team challenged all other high school teams to donate $100. 

Several club teams in the area have excelled and continue to produce top talent. Mount O Volleyball recently sent two of its players to a beach tournament in California. High Country Volleyball Club, in the Taylorsville area, had five players sign letters of intent to play college volleyball.

High school volleyball in the state of Utah has taken a diminished role in player development. Barnes and other high school coaches are looking for ways to improve their programs.

The Taylorsville Warriors won three of their first nine matches. The Warrior victories came in the High Flying Falcons Open Volleyball tournament held at Clearfield High School Aug. 25-26. They got past Logan 25-15, 24-26 and 15-9. They also beat Ben Lomond in two straight sets 25-15 and 25-18. The other victory in the tournament came against Provo 25-21 and 25-20. They placed seventh in the tournament. 

The Warriors were scheduled to begin region games Sept. 12 (after press deadline) against Herriman. 

The Utah High School Activities Association realigned its member high schools. Taylorsville competes in Region 3 against Copper Hills, Herriman, Riverton and West Jordan.

Lone Peak is the defending 5A state champion. Pleasant Grove finished second. Taylorsville’s last appearance in the state tournament was 2014 when it finished sixth overall.

The state volleyball tournament is scheduled for Nov. 2–4 at Utah Valley University in Orem.  

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